The Future Of Paper In A Digital Age

We live in a digital age where business is done over the phone and letters are typed as an email – everything is just a click away. For years people have predicted an end to the print era – yet here we are, talking about exactly why this hasn’t yet happened. Whether it’s used in books, business brochures, or for journaling about your latest adventure, paper is still alive and will continue to be. There is something about the physical presence of paper and satisfaction of being able to turn a page, that can never be achieved through electronics. We have complied a quick (but not exhaustive) list of why paper still has a future in a digital age.

Digital paper image.No Disappearing Acts

Paper provides a sense of security and permanence:

  • Its battery won’t die
  • With little to no monetary value chances of it getting stolen are low
  • It can’t freak out and erase everything by itself

Paper is affordable, trustworthy and doesn’t have to be plugged in before you go to bed.


There is certain personal information that you don’t want on the internet, because you never know where it will end up or what it will be used for. It is impossible for an internet hacker to steal information off a piece of paper, or to infect that paper with a virus. Paper just feels safer.


With a rise in the rate of cyber-crimes, more people are ignoring or are weary of clicking on popup and banner ads. Research has shown that 80 percent of internet users have never clicked on one of these ads. Despite being slightly annoying, one click could riddle your device with viruses. With print, however, there is no imminent danger besides a paper cut.

Target Marketing

Placing ads in magazines allows you to reach a specific audience that may not be as easily reached online. Handing out flyers also caters for individuals who either do not use the internet, or do not have access to it.

Higher Response Rate

With regard to newsletters, print simply has more influence. With the increased pace of life, it is easier to ignore, unsubscribe or mark emails as spam without even glancing at them. A direct-mail newsletter might generate three to five percent response rate, while an email newsletter only generates one-half percent.

You Can See Your Process

Writing an idea on paper, editing and reworking that idea, allows you to see the steps you took to get to your end product. It gives you the opportunity to revert to previous thoughts and expand on them. Electronic devices give you the option to delete, eliminating the ability to look over and reconsider previous ideas.

The Environment

We were sold on the promise that moving away from paper to a digital age would reduce our environmental waste produced. So far this hasn’t proven entirely true. While it saves resources in some ways, the toxic waste produced by electronic devices is a ticking time bomb. Approximately 9% of these devices get recycled while a further 88% gets dumped on a landfill.

Paper Supports Digital

Printed QR codes, or matrix barcodes, is a perfect example of how print and web can work together to create an even bigger influence. QR codes can be placed on printed items as a way to bridge the gap between print and the web. When scanned, this barcode could take you to a specific homepage or specials offer page on the web, eliminating the need to search for these sites. Without belittling the role of the web or electronic devices, our goal is to open people’s eyes to the equal necessity of paper. There are many reasons, personal or business orientated, to use paper and we at Woodland Paper are able to make that possible.